IB Exam Tips

Calm Down


Exam season is once again upon us, so let’s remind ourselves of some exam preparation best practices to help with the stress of the season.

1. Understand the objectives of your exams: clarify exactly what topics are covered.

2. Familiarize yourself with exam weightings. Knowing the attention and value given to each topic will help you prioritize your study.

3. Establish a realistic study timeline based on your priorities and deadlines. Find the discipline to stick to your timeline. If necessary, designate someone to help you maintain your discipline.

4. Know your own personal best practices for studying. To maximize study yield, structure your review process to best suit how your brain learns. E.g. do you need to write and rewrite notes? Do you need to talk out loud and explain concepts to someone (or something) else? Does color coding help you? Do you need to offer yourself small rewards? Do you need quiet or background noise? Be honest, and be smart: work with your brain.

5. Learn the exam format so that you don’t waste time deciding how to approach questions types.

6. Obtain past papers where possible and practice – first to establish the best approaches to questions, and later, under timed conditions. Use your performance on these practice tests to prioritize what topics/skills need more study.

7. Identify your usual distractors, and separate yourself from them. This doesn’t mean don’t take breaks – but don’t study right next to temptation either.

8. Take care of your body. Eat healthily. Sleep properly. Exercise to increase alertness and stamina (and to avoid study depression).

9. Find ways to remain positive. Try to find enjoyable or valuable aspects of the topics you’re studying. Or, at least, remind yourself of the longer-term goals you can achieve by succeeding in your studies.

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